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Mansfield Town 0-0 Cambridge United

Posted onPosted on 18th Oct

Paul Cox’s injury-ravaged side halted Cambridge’s recent goal spree with a gutsy second-half rearguard.

Mansfield, missing seven first-team players through injury and assistant manager captain Adam Murray through suspension, played a passing style of football not seen at the One Call Stadium this season in an even first half.

But in the second period they were put under pressure by in-form Cambridge, who had scored eight goals in their previous two matches, and needed two fine saves by Sascha Studer to preserve a point. Cambridge also struck the post twice.

The Stags created few chances throughout the 90 minutes, the best Lee Beevers’ early header and Rakish Bingham’s late run and shot over.

Afterwards Cox, who lost defender Luke Jones to an achilles injury on Friday and strikers Matt Rhead and Ollie Palmer in midweek to add to the growing injury list, said: “I thought we were down to the bare bones early in the season, but I was just glad to get 11 out there today after what has happened in training this week. I wish it had been a five-a-side game.

“It’s been a tough week, so credit to the players, they were tremendous today.

“We had a couple out there with painkilling injections to get them onto the pitch.

“We were up against a team today that has been bulldozing teams of late. Our first-half performance was excellent without really affecting their goal, though I thought we should have had a penalty.

“We did look tired in the second half, but there were a lot of tired bodies out there, some who hadn’t trained all week.

“A lot of them were running on empty. The boys gave everything for the cause and deserve a massive pat on the back.
“Now we need some help. We seem to be taking two steps forward and then three or four back in terms of getting bodies back on the pitch.

“We can’t keep carrying on this situation without there being a massive downturn in performances and results.

“We need to look at squad size and the way we go about things.”